Abstract

A hitherto poorly known upper Miocene reefal succession is described from several elevated and fault-bounded outcrops in the area around Santo Stefano di Camastra and Caronia, northern Sicily. These strata lie unconformably on a late Miocene coastal planation surface cut into different levels of the "Reitano Flysch" (Miocene) siliciclastics. The Porites and coralline algal dominated reefal carbonates correlate well with similar developments in western Calabria and central Sicily and with reef events on the stable African foreland in SE Sicily and Malta. Collectively all appear to be related to a Late Miocene eustatic highstand tentatively correlated with the proposed TB 3.2 event. It is considered that these Late Miocene reef fragments represent a remnant of a formerly extensive shallow water and north facing, marginal reef zone. Much of this zone foundered during the later collapse of the Tyrrhenian basin. These remaining subaerial occurrences, therefore, provide important evidence indicating that the southeastern part of the main Tyrrhenian basin was not fully developed until after the Early Messinian.

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